Magellan Ashes 2017-18

Mitch Marsh tipped for Test squad recall

Allrounder Mitch Marsh's form makes him front-runner to join his brother in Australia's Ashes squad for final three Tests

Dave Middleton

06 December 2017, 02:30 PM

Allrounder Mitchell Marsh has been tipped to be added to Australia's 13-man squad for the final three Magellan Ashes Tests as the hosts look to secure the series and reclaim the urn.

Australia took a 2-0 series lead on the fifth afternoon in Adelaide having played an unchanged XI in the first two Test matches.

Australia had named a 13-man squad for the first two Tests only, with Chadd Sayers' inclusion specifically called out for Adelaide. As it turned out, the South Australia seamer wasn't required for the day-night Test, and could make way with the three remaining Tests on more batter-friendly surfaces.

Day wrap: Australia storm to 2-0 series lead

Former Australia quick Jason Gillespie said a fourth bowler who could support the front-line quicks could be vital.

"I said after the first two Test matches the Australians will maybe add someone to their squad, possibly an allrounder because they'll feel the surfaces in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney are three very good batting surfaces," Gillespie told Optus Sport's Stumps program.

"And the three big hairy quicks are going to need a little bit of support.

"So don't be surprised if a Mitchell Marsh or that type player comes into the equation."

Marsh last played a Test on Australia's tour of India and required a full shoulder reconstruction after picking up an injury in the Bengaluru Test.

He returned to bowling earlier than expected in Western Australia's JLT Sheffield Shield game against Queensland at the WACA Ground late last month, venue for the third Test starting December 14, and took 2-49.

Marsh also scored a century in that match, with 141 in the first innings, following a 95 against South Australia at the WACA in the previous round. He scored 43 and 38 not out in WA's drawn match with Victoria at the MCG this week.

Ecstatic Marsh registers Shield century

Former Australia opener and Stumps co-host Chris Rogers agreed Marsh was the frontrunner, and his recall could spell an exit from the side for Peter Handscomb.

"Unfortunately it's going to be Handscomb that will be left out," Rogers said.

"At the start of the season he was pretty secure with his spot, but just looks a little bit off colour at the moment. He doesn't look like the game's as simple as it should be for him.

"It sounds like the most simple thing in batting, but you go forward to full balls and back to short balls, but that's not what Pete is doing at the moment unfortunately."

Handscomb has scores of 14, 36 and 12 in the Magellan Ashes so far, and in his past 10 first-class matches has 498 runs at 27.67.

Handscomb must make change: Ponting

Rogers' comments echoed those of Australia legend Ricky Ponting, who told in Adelaide the Victorian's technique was something he had "never seen before".

"You see a lot of people finish in that position after they've pushed back from their front foot onto their back foot and finish six inches from their stumps, but I've never seen anyone start there," Ponting told

"That, in itself, could mean there's some sort of issue going on. I'm not sure what it might be but batting back there he's trying to give himself as much time as he possibly can.

"If he's always done it and that's the technique he wants to stick with that's fine, but when you see him start moving his feet like he did today; one ball (he was) two feet outside off stump, the next ball outside leg stump, that's going to make batting pretty difficult.

"There's going to be a few things there that need to be changed as far as I'm concerned.

"If he keeps moving around like he does and moving back in front of his stumps it just looks like he's making batting more difficult for himself."

Victoria batsman Glenn Maxwell, who is the JLT Sheffield Shield's leading run-scorer with 590 runs at 73.75 from the five matches before the BBL break, could consider him unlucky to miss out, having been added to the squad as cover for Shaun Marsh who had a back issue leading into the Gabba Test. Maxwell hit a career-best 278 against NSW at North Sydney Oval and added another 96 against WA this week.

Glenn Maxwell's epic Shield knock ends on 278

Tasmania's Jackson Bird is likely to remain the reserve paceman in the squad, having collected player of the match honours for his seven-wicket haul against the NSW Blues in the Tigers Shield win.

Australia head to the WACA Ground with 2-0 series lead after a 10-wicket win in Brisbane and a 120-run win in Adelaide.

England coach Trevor Bayliss said it was unlikely there would be any changes to the England XI for the third Test, saying there was "no real need for panic".

"No, I don't think so, I don' think there's any real need to panic. Guys have shown the capabilities they've got, we've just got to find a way to do it for longer," Bayliss told UK broadcaster BT Sport.

Possible Australia squad for Perth: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Mitch Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Jackson Bird

2017-18 International Fixtures

Magellan Ashes Series

Australia Test squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine (wk), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Jackson Bird, Chadd Sayers.

England Test squad: Joe Root (c), James Anderson (vc), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Gary Ballance, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Mason Crane, Tom Curran, Ben Foakes, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ben Stokes, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Chris Woakes.

First Test Australia won by 10 wickets. Scorecard

Second Test Australia won by 120 runs (Day-Night). Scorecard

Third Test WACA Ground, December 14-18. Tickets

Fourth Test MCG, December 26-30. Tickets

Fifth Test SCG, January 4-8 (Pink Test). Tickets

Gillette ODI Series v England

First ODI MCG, January 14. Tickets

Second ODI Gabba, January 19. Tickets

Third ODI SCG, January 21. Tickets

Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Tickets

Fifth ODI Perth Stadium, January 28. Tickets

Prime Minister's XI

PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Tickets

Gillette T20 trans-Tasman Tri-Series

First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Tickets

Second T20I – Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Tickets

Third T20I – Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Tickets

Fourth T20I – NZ v England, Wellington, February 14

Fifth T20I – NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16

Sixth T20I – NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18

Final – TBC, Eden Park, February 21